I was educated at the University of Münster, Liverpool John Moores University, and the Université de Haute-Bretagne II. Before returning to academia as a lecturer, I worked as a project manager and senior editor for a couple of New Media companies. In my current position as a Lecturer for EAP and TEFL at the University of Applied Sciences Münster, I am responsible for several Bachelor and Master programmes, including curriculum development, teaching, quality control, and thesis supervision. I am also strongly involved in all matters regarding research methods and academic writing at the faculty.
My research, however, is grounded in a very different field, namely in social, cultural, and community history; it focuses predominantly on memory issues regarding political violence, terrorism, and intrastate conflicts, with an emphasis on Europe and North America. I see myself as a cultural historian, specialising in the areas of sociology, psychology, and sociocultural anthropology in the context of conflict situations in modern times. I am particularly fascinated by the aetiology of young people's responses to past conflict situations, dealing with themes of memory, emotions, and identity, specialising in the issue of transgenerational and transnational memories and their influence on the support for terrorist activities.
As terrorism is not a monolithic concept, there is the possibility to draw on aspects of low-key susceptibilities to collective memories and hence collective identities. These collective identities could in turn lead to an identification with the principles of terrorist groups as well as the motivation to act cooperatively. On the one hand, my research focuses on the experiences of young Irishmen and women growing up in 1970s Britain; on the other hand, it deals with the attitudes of Irish American teenagers towards the Troubles in the 1970s and 1980s. The principal idea is that this research might lead to a better understanding of bi-cultural identities in times of conflict and war.
Further research interests are terrorism and gender, inter-community relations, post-conflict reconstruction, and the development of social policies regarding the aforementioned issues, including migrant integration and assimilation. I am involved with some related research networks, e.g. the groups "Radicalisation and Violence" and "Transnational Memory and Identity" at the Council for European Studies, the Conflict Research Society, the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, the Society for Terrorism Research, and the British International Studies Association.
Additionally, I am interested, inter alia, in all things to do with criminal psychology as well as crowd psychology, in particular crowd responses to perceived threats at major events.